Over the past decade, Africa has been experiencing tremendous economic dynamism and growth: seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries are in Africa; the continent’s economic output has more than tripled; and average economic growth is expected to be 4.8
Transport is a core sector for Africa’s economic development. Growth-inducing, it enables goods to move across regions and within countries. It provides farmers with access to markets and the means to export their products and to fulfill demand in other parts of the continent as well as in Europe and Asia. Transport also enables people to go where jobs and services are.
Choices made today about transport systems and the provision of infrastructure will frame development patterns for the next thirty years and play a defining role in ending poverty. So how transport develops within cities and across the continent is critical for the kind of development that Africa generates and the degree of economic growth it achieves.
The Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) is mounting a new effort to meet with stakeholders across Africa to discuss the concept of sustainable transport, identify innovative solutions, and position transport in the greater sustainability agenda. The continent has a unique opportunity to create environmentally sustainable transport networks as part of its development strategy. In taking the next step forward, SSATP is planning to host in 2014 an Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum for Africa (EST-Africa). This will be the first EST Forum in Africa following the EST forums in Asia and Latin America. This first forum will focus on the challenges facing sustainable development of the transport sector so that it can meet long-term development goals.
EST-Africa will provide an opportunity for regional cooperation and the exchange of best practices. The goal is to increase understanding of the benefits of building sustainable, rather than carbon-hungry, transport networks. EST-Africa will help African governments achieve solid economic growth, increase their capacity to develop sustainable transport systems, and build greater climate resilience.
For more information about the 2014 Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum for Africa, please contact Roger Gorham (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jean Noel Guillossou (Jguillossou@worldbank.org).